nplaw has one of the largest compulsory purchase order (CPO) legal practices in the UK. Our CPO consultancy service is currently working on more than 80 CPO projects for local authorities throughout England and Wales. The success rate of nplaw and our predecessor, Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s legal team, in obtaining confirmed CPOs is over 95% and it is more than four years since we acted on a CPO project that was not confirmed.
Compulsory Purchase Order projects
Our consultancy service undertakes a wide variety of CPO projects. Properties compulsorily purchased include every combination of land and buildings: occupied and unoccupied, residential and commercial, leasehold and freehold, listed and unlisted. Some projects involve single plots of land. Many more involve multiple plots. Properties are purchased to facilitate schemes as diverse as housing redevelopment, road improvement, town centre redevelopment and regeneration, the provision of schools, bus stations, energy parks, cemeteries and country parks and the restoration of listed buildings.
Examples of projects which we have recently completed or are involved in include:
The West Rhyl Housing Improvement Project
Described by the Welsh Government as, “one of the most significant housing-led regeneration schemes in Wales, its aim is to create a vibrant community where families and businesses wish to settle and grow. This will be done by building new, energy-efficient homes, creating green space and providing new shops. It will be integral to the regeneration of Rhyl as a town”. In 2011, West Rhyl was identified as the most deprived area in Wales with a population living in high levels of economic and social deprivation. The decline of tourism had resulted in many former hotels being turned into flats and houses in multiple occupation. To facilitate the improvement project, 120 such properties were compulsorily purchased.
A housing regeneration project for Tandridge District Council
This involved the compulsory purchase of long leasehold interests created in an exercise of the “right-to-buy” in 12 of 20 flats contained in three blocks. The flats, built in 1946, suffered from many structural problems, and surveys showed that the most cost effective option was a comprehensive redevelopment scheme. The existing flats will now be replaced by 35 new houses and flats, a large proportion of which will be let at affordable rents or sold on a shared ownership basis. nplaw advised on the CPO and on negotiations with two objectors which resulted in their objections being withdrawn and the planned public inquiry, on which nplaw was also advising, being cancelled.
The compulsory purchase of Denbigh Hospital
Denbigh Hospital is a Grade II listed complex of buildings set in over 20 hectares of parkland. The hospital, once known as North Wales Hospital, was closed in 1995. By 2012, its condition had deteriorated significantly. nplaw advised on the service of a repairs notice in 2013, prepared the CPO made in 2014 and represented Denbighshire County Council at a three week long public inquiry in 2015. The Welsh government confirmed the CPO in September 2015. Denbighshire County Council is now working with the North Wales Building Preservation Trust to preserve this “exceptionally fine and pioneering example of early Victorian architecture” for the future.
Highway works in Derby
The A52 in Derby is part of a regionally and locally significant highway network but has been suffering from significant congestion, a substandard layout and safety issues. nplaw advised on the Council’s scheme to deal with these issues and to release an area of land for new commercial and retail development, all backed by a CPO. Working with the Council, nplaw resolved a number of objections which resulted in securing a confirmed CPO without requiring a public inquiry.
Housing in Basildon
The Craylands Housing estate in Basildon has outdated housing stock in poor condition and is in an area suffering social deprivation. The Council has a phased programme to redevelop the estate and phase one is due to complete this year. 161 properties having been demolished and 407 being built. nplaw are working with the Council on the next phase of the scheme backed with a CPO under section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for environmental, social and economic benefit.
Our CPO consultancy service will:
- advise on applicable powers of compulsory purchase;
- prepare cabinet or committee reports;
- prepare indemnity agreements when required;
- advise on procedure and prepare all necessary notices and other documents;
- negotiate with objectors;
- undertake advocacy at public inquiries;
- deal with confirmation of the CPO;
- prepare notices to treat and general vesting documents;
- register change of ownership at the Land Registry;
- advise on compensation due to the former owners;
- make Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) references.
The fixed fee for dealing with a non-contested single plot empty homes compulsory purchase order is £2,400 + VAT + disbursements. The fee covers:
- Advice on the cabinet or committee report seeking authority to make the CPO
- Preparation of the order, statutory notices, statement of reasons
- Submission of the order to the Secretary of State for confirmation
- If the order is confirmed, the post confirmation procedures
- Vesting of the title in the local authority
- Registering title at HM Land Registry
If there are objections, complications in dealing with the CPO or it needs to be dealt with by a public inquiry, we charge on an hourly basis at the rate of £117 per hour + vat + disbursements in addition to the fixed fee and we can give you a costs estimate on a case by case basis, as the time and complexity of a matter will vary with each case. If, for some reason, the matter is stopped at an earlier stage than the registration of title we will charge you the full fixed fee.
Our CPO consultancy service also provides training on request.
For more information, please contact
Jane Linley at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01603 223811